Explaining things to a 4-year-old could be tricky. With his sharp retorts and observant queries, one could never be too careful. As it is, handling his queries on normal daily-life is tough, without any help from the commercials that appear in Television these days.

Remember the commercials in (Indian) TV during the 80s?
They were not even called ‘commercials’. They were just ‘advertisements’, without being shortened to the glorious new(er) term, ‘ads.’

Those ads, if I may say so, were more original, very down-to-earth. Possibly there was (or evolved over time) a law which stated that misleading scenes were not to be shown. But no longer. Now we see hair so strong that it pulls down the wall it is tied to because of a shampoo (or is it hair oil?) applied on it, a magnet attracting dirt from clothes, masala powder falling from a fingertip, a Superman look-alike making his appearance to wash grime from the kitchen, etc. etc. I admit that I would never have noticed anything amiss in these commercials, had it not been for my ever-attentive son and his simple queries that complicate my life. How, pray, would I explain them to him? 

None of us, I guess, can now recall when Boldness made its appearance in the Indian ad scene. Circa 15 years ago, I remember seeing one ad in a magazine that left me shocked. Come to think of it now, apart from a pose suggestive of intimacy, there was nothing. They were even well-dressed – considering today’s standards. Which is farthest from the case today – the less I elaborate on this, the better!

Once upon a time, if my memory does not mislead me, ads (and the popular products?) were directed towards the younger, beautiful-looking generation. Try as I may, I cannot recall many ads of anti-ageing creams/soaps/products or pension plans, in those days. Now, and this I am happy to note, ageing actresses come to tell us, it is okay to age! Just take care it does not show too much.

Hence I say, our Ads are growing up, too!
And in the years ahead, I am going have a lot of explaining to do.